Colorado Economic Recovery and Accountability

Executive Summary

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

In the year since President Obama signed the Recovery Act into law in Denver, the historic law has been supporting millions of Coloradans, creating and saving jobs and investing in infrastructure projects that are providing long-term benefits to communities across Colorado.

 

More than 25,000 Coloradans are saving money on purchases of energy-saving appliances and home upgrades thanks to an $18 million rebate program operated by the Governor’s Energy Office. Roughly 1.8 million families have been bringing home an additional $60-$80 a month in their paychecks thanks to the Making Work Pay tax cut. About 6,200 households are saving up to $8,000 with their first home purchase. More than 500,000 Coloradans received an extra $250 check from the Social Security Administration to help make ends meet. About 52,000 low-income college students will receive up to $500 more in tuition assistance for the current school year. Thousands of laid-off workers are paying hundreds of dollars less per month for health care coverage through COBRA. More than 260,000 laid-off Coloradans have been receiving an extra $25 a week in unemployment checks since February 2009. More than 300,000 people obtained job search assistance and more than 3,500 disadvantaged youths, ages 15-24, received summer jobs and valuable work experience.

 

At the same time, large-scale construction and infrastructure projects are under way. As of March 31, 2010, 82 roadway improvement projects using more than $338 million have begun construction, 18 projects have been completed, and more than 19,000 people were hired to work on those projects. Construction projects at seven airports worth $36.7 million are under way or complete. Thirty one vital drinking and wastewater improvement projects worth $60 million have started. About a dozen local agencies have taken advantage of bond programs, financing almost $900 million in capital projects and saving more than $150 million in interest.

 

The Recovery Act has also helped Colorado preserve a host of critical public services. Correction facilities and public colleges and universities across the state have preserved jobs and programs – and avoided drastic cuts and layoffs - with almost $700 million in state budget stabilization funds. Colorado has preserved Medicaid services with the help of more than $240 million a year for three years in increased funds. Without those funds, the state would have been forced to shut down its Children’s Health Plan Plus program that serves 65,000 pregnant women and children.

 

The private sector is also benefitting.Hundreds of companies also are benefiting from sizeable grants and contracts that help them preserve and create jobs. Contractors have completed weatherization work on about 2,200 homes at no cost to the owner or renter. And researchers at universities across Colorado have been awarded hundreds of Recovery Act grants worth more than $244 million, allowing them to retain or hire more than 200 full-time equivalent jobs.